Pretend two arms just jumped out of your phone/computer, wrapped themselves around you, and gave you a big ol’ hug from me. That’s for sharing part of your Tuesdays with me every week in 2016. If you’re new to Perfection Road, then I thank you for placing your toes on the starting line. This will be our best year yet! I can feel it!
2017 makes me want to take a deep breath, close my eyes, and exhale ever so slowly. But maybe your new January doesn’t seem so fresh and wonderful. Maybe your spirit got deflated in 2016. Rather than it reeking with freshness, all you smell is city smog. No matter your outlook, I’m planning to cheer you on this year. I think we can all stand a little of that, don’t you agree?
You don’t have to be around me long to notice three phrases I often repeat. They are found at the very end of 2 Corinthians. What better way to ignite your cheerfulness than by reminding you of your three biggest cheerleaders!
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with you all.”
(2 Corinthians 13:14, NIV)
Who better to infuse your spirit with joy than the three who made you? We’ll take a look at each one of these three over the next few weeks, just in time for Lean Into Jesus’ Worthy conference on February 4th. (For more details, click here.)
Let’s start with God our Father. First Corinthians 13 wears the nickname, “Love Chapter” because that’s where Paul describes the actions of a loving person. It’s frequently quoted in wedding ceremonies as the model for marriage. Soon afterward, the bride and groom might refer to it in teaching their children how to behave. Later, the same busy husband and wife use it to remind each other of the do’s and don’ts of love!
But what if we looked at that familiar chapter again? Only this time, we replaced the word love with the name of God. As you read this, remember that this is the attitude God has toward you. You are His special possession. His love for you is immeasurable! Now, slow down, and read slowly.
God is patient (with YOU).
God is kind (toward YOU).
God does not envy,
and He is not proud. (He’s already the best!)
He does not dishonor (YOU)!
He is not self-seeking. (He wants what’s good for YOU!)
God is not easily angered (toward YOU).
He keeps no record of wrongs.
(HE KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS!)
God does not delight in evil,
but rejoices with the truth.
God always protects (YOU).
God always trusts (YOU).
God always hopes (for YOUR best),
and He always perseveres (FOR YOU).
GOD NEVER FAILS (YOU)!
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! That’s what we are! (1 John 3:1, NIV)
Now, throw back that head of yours, and lift your hands to the One who loves you! He’s just given you a big ol’ hug. He is worthy of all the praise you can muster! After experiencing the love of the God who made us, how can we not feverishly love Him and those He loves?
Rest in God’s love this week, and remember, “The only thing that matters is faith expressing itself in love.” (Galatians 5:6, NIV) “What counts is the new creation.” (Galatians 6:15, NIV)